VIDEO: First Suspect Arrested In Toppling Of Durham Statue As Antifa ‘Comrades’ Taunt Police
Takiyah Thompson Arrested For Destroying Durham Monument
Durham, NC – The same day that Sheriff Mike Durham promised the arrest and prosecution of the people involved in destroying a confederate solider statue, his deputies began executing arrest warrants.
Takiyah Thompson, age 22, was arrested Tuesday afternoon with a camera crew on scene along with a crowd of Antifa.
The Antifa crowd followed the two deputies to their vehicle, chanting “Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” according to Fox News (video below.)
Takiyah Thompson was identified from video as the suspect who attached the strap to the statue for it to be pulled down.
In the video, Thompson can be seen putting a ladder against the statue and then climbing it. She tied a yellow rope around the statue climbed down, and she and others pulled on the statue until it toppled. Dozens of people were present, and could be heard chanting as the statue came down. Protesters began kicking it once it fell.
At a news conference, Thompson said, “I’m tired of white supremacy keeping its foot on my neck and the necks of people who look like me.” She said, “That statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in, and it had to go.”
Thompson was charged with participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and inciting others to riot where property damage exceeds $1,500, both felonies, as well as damage to real property and disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, both misdemeanors.
She is a student at North Carolina Central University, and a member of Workers World Party. The communist organization describes itself on its website as a “working-class party to fight capitalism.”
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Andrews said, “Let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened. We will find the people responsible.”
He said, “We can all agree yesterday went too far. Yesterday was not the Durham that I know”, according to WRAL.
He repeated an earlier statement that he had made, that no arrests were made during the incident because of safety concerns.
He also listed the steps the Sheriff’s Office had taken before the demonstration, including blocking off streets, spraying the statue with solvent so that any attempt to deface it could be easily cleaned, and using uniformed and plainclothes deputies to maintain order in the crowd.
Durham County Manager Wendell Davis said that the protest began as a “peaceful gathering,” but quickly escalated to “an unfortunate outcome.”
“Regardless of what this monument memorializes in our history, the destruction of this figure was unlawful, and it represented an inappropriate action. There is a lawful way to gain the attention of our state to address the desire to move, remove, or make substantive changes to a public monument,” the sheriff said.
He stated that his deputies were working hard to identify the other people responsible for pulling the statue down, and more would be charged in the future.
Sheriff Andrews said that what the protesters did was a blatant criminal violation. “Don’t mistake restraint for inaction. Had I ordered my deputies to engage a hostile crowd, there would have been serious injuries. Statues can be replaced; lives cannot.”
Many Durham residents were appalled at what happened. Resident Gary Munn said, “The one thing this great country has got, above all others in the world, is the rule of law, and if we lose the rule of law, we all give up our freedoms.”
The protesters held their own press conference, said their actions were justified, and demanded the charges against Thompson be dismissed.
Legislation was passed in 2015 by state lawmakers to restrict their removal of confederate monuments after Charlotte officials voted to remove a memorial downtown. The North Carolina Historical Commission must now approve any local effort to move or alter any such memorials.
Sheriff Andrews concluded “The men and women of my office have a difficult job, which is why I am calling on our city and county leaders to send a clear message to protesters in this community: It is time for some ground rules. We must make clear what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior.”
You can see the video of the arrest below: